The best tech equipment to film extreme sports

When it comes to cutting-edge technology, today's modern action cameras are at the top of their game.

Once the domain of extreme sports fanatics, action cams have now found their way into everyday life; documenting our every move in glorious high-definition video.

Most HD action cameras offer a variety of recording settings: from 720p HD to 4K ultra-high-definition video, all at varying frame rates (see below). Once you've selected an appropriate resolution and frame rate, you're ready to go.

360fly 360-degree action camera

Adam Turner tests a video camera with eyes in the back of its head.

After you've survived the day's trials, most devices will allow you to view the video on either a built-in screen or a companion mobile app, which in many cases can also be used as a remote control.

Slow it down

A favourite among sporting buffs, one of the many features you'll find in an action camera is HD slow motion video capture. That is, the ability to record your action at a faster frame rate than normal, giving you a clear and crisp video when slowed down.

The normal frame rate for video capture is 24 or 25 frames (individual images) per second (fps). Slow motion recording packs more frames into each second, such as 60fps or 100fps.

Surf's up! If you can ride on it, hang from it, or wear it, there's a way to affix your action cam to it.
Surf's up! If you can ride on it, hang from it, or wear it, there's a way to affix your action cam to it. Photo: Supplied

If you're keen to slow down the action to capture the glory of every droplet of an ocean wave, or every shockwave on your face as your bike pounds down a mountain trail, make sure your camera has a slow motion feature.

A question of mounting

There are plenty of simple 'sticks' to which you can attach a camera, all with varying degrees of function. There are extendable poles with swivel heads, and stocky grips with buoyant handles to ensure you don't kiss hundreds of dollars goodbye should you drop your camera in the drink.

Now, thanks to lightweight materials – such as carbon-fibre and aerospace-grade aluminium – a variety of versatile fixtures mean you can mount an action cam to just about anything.

From helmet, vehicle and bicycle mounts, to surfboard, wrist and even finger straps – if you can ride on it, hang from it, or wear it, there's a way to affix your action cam to it. 

Versatility and flexibility

But don't think you need to be an extreme sports enthusiast to justify owning an action cam. There are many uses beyond documenting base jumps and rafting down white-water rapids.

Strap a GoPro to your head and record a wedding with a difference. Wear a body harness to your local yacht meet. Some users have even mounted cameras to their pets to get a dog's eye view of the world, many with hilarious results. The possibilities are limited purely by your imagination.

The flexibility, size and ease-of-use of these devices means recording your every move is simpler than ever before. Simply point, shoot and share.

Click through the gallery to peruse cutting-edge equipment to capture every adventure.